Western Leader : February 18th 2011
www.westernleader.co.nz Friday, February 18, 2011 extra content, extra early, extra special! online editions Essential local news available now, wherever you are...and it's FREE! Just click on "Latest Edition" at www.westernleader.co.nz Western Leader online editions have exciting extras for all our readers -- including video and back issues. Get online now for a total multi media experience with the latest local news -- anywhere, anytime. Call me 'Iron Mike' By TUREI MACKEY HE HAS COMPETED IN EVERY NZ IRONMAN SINCE 1985 Rare feat: Veteran triathlete Mike Ramsay has competed in every New Zealand Ironman. Photo: JASON OXENHAM ' One of the things about coming in before midnight is everybody is already partying and the winners will come down and cheer you ... ' Mike Ramsay TO COMPLETE just one Ironman is a significant achieve- ment. But to compete in every New Zealand Ironman event since its inception in 1985 is a rare feat. It is a tradition Henderson Heights resident Mike Ramsay will be continuing when he participates in the 27th New Zealand Ironman in Taupo next month. He will be contending the 65 to 69 age category and is one of only two competitors to have raced in all previous 26 events. The 66-year-old former presi- dent of Triathlon New Zealand is aiming to finish before the cut-off time at midnight. That's 17 hours after the endurance race begins. I have worked out that I have been losing 45 seconds a year,'' he says. But one of the things about coming in before midnight is everybody is already partying and the winners will come down and cheer you across the finish line.'' The ironman involves a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run. Ramsay's job as a diver in the Royal New Zealand Navy meant he was ready for triathlons even before the events became popu- lar in the 1970s. We would start our day with arunandaswimandIwould bike to work in Devonport from my home in Glenfield,'' he says. So I was already doing triathlons before there was even such a thing.'' He recalls the first Ironman race held in Auckland as being an extremely painful experience on his body. We knew nothing about nutrition, had no wetsuits for the swim and rode our bikes wearing woollen jerseys.'' Ramsay says the race has grown and 1500 competitors now take part, including those doing it as a one-off challenge. You get about 800 virgins' as we call them and they always look nervous as hell. You had to sign up quickly this year because around 700 Aussies were wanting to come over due to their own Ironman races selling out.'' Ramsay plans to complete a few more Ironman events but he does have an age in mind for his final contest. I know the number I will fin- ish at but I won't tell anyone. But it is a round number.'' Goto www.western leader.co.nz to see the start of the 2010 New Zealand Ironman at Taupo. Mike's stats Mike finished his first Ironman in 10hr 29min and 40sec. He placed 71st. Heis66yearsold MIke has been losing only 45 seconds a year.
February 17th 2011
February 22nd 2011